Fire crews find body after tackling blaze at house as police arrest man

A man in his 30s was found dead at a house fire and a man in his 50s has been arrested in connection with the incident, say police.

The younger man’s body was discovered at a home that was “well alight” when the first fire crews arrived on scene in Torquay, Devon.

His cause of death is being treated as “unexplained”.

Neighbours told DevonLive they heard “three loud bangs” which sounded like fireworks before seeing smoke billowing in to the air and the house engulfed in flames at about 11pm on Saturday.

The property remained cordoned off on Sunday morning, as a police officer stood guard and an investigation into the incident continued.

A man in his 50s, who is from Torquay, was arrested and remained in custody, said a spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police.

Some neighbours said they were woken up by three “bangs” before noticing the fire.

A person who lives across the street said: “The smoke made it so hard to see, even my house smelt of smoke.”

The man who was found dead had not yet been formally identified as of Sunday morning, though his family had been informed, said police.

Heartbroken family and friends paid tribute to him on Facebook.

A friend wrote: “[He] was a nice bloke… he definitely didn’t deserve his life to end this way.

“I hope his family and friends can mourn in peace.”

A police spokesperson said: “Police were called at 11.10pm on Saturday, May 22, to reports of a fire at a property in Torquay.

“Emergency services attended the address on Ellacombe Road, where the fire was extinguished, and the property secured.

“A man in his 30s was located within the address and confirmed deceased.

“Next of kin have been informed and formal identification is yet to be completed.

“The cause of death is currently being treated as unexplained while enquiries are ongoing.

“A man in his 50s, from Torquay, has been arrested in connection to the incident and remains in police custody at this time.

“Enquiries remain ongoing at the scene and a cordon is in place.

“Anyone with information which may assist the investigation is asked to contact police on 101 quoting CR/041665/21.”

A post on Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service’s Twitter page stated: “We attended a fire in Torquay last night.

“When crews got to the scene, the property was well alight and sadly a man was found dead.”

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